NYC corrections officers revive man who OD'd on fentanyl in court

The COs' work got the man semi-conscious, but he was barely breathing and his lips had turned blue

By Graham Rayman
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — Correction officers trying to save detainee Kahreem Perry, 50, cleared the cell of other detainees, began chest compressions and retrieved a rescue kit containing vital first aid equipment.

But in that moment Tuesday afternoon in the Manhattan court holding pens, correction sources said, they didn’t have what they really needed — a dose of Narcan, which is used to treat severe drug overdoses.

A jailhouse source said Perry is believed to have somehow ingested fentanyl, a deadly drug that has caused four fatal overdoses this year in the jails. The officers’ work got him semi-conscious, but he was barely breathing and his lips had turned blue.

When city medics arrived and administered the Narcan, he was finally revived, said the correction sources.

Perry survived, but the incident underscored the need for all correction officers to be trained and equipped with Narcan. All NYPD cops already carry Narcan.

DOC Commissioner Louis Molina acknowledged at the City Council on Tuesday — right around the time Perry was falling unconscious — that while 2,000 officers have Narcan, about 4,000 as yet haven’t gotten the training.

“Right now, DOC has not provided the actual Narcan here so it’s not available if an inmate appears to be overdosing,” a correction source said of the Manhattan courts holding areas. “Officers got the training yesterday (after the Perry save), but not the actual Narcan.”

Nine detainees have fatally overdosed since Jan. 1, 2021, including five so far in 2022. There have also been several hundred non-fatal overdoses in the period as the system has struggled to stop contraband drugs from entering the jails.

Perry’s lawyer, Glenn Franklin Hardy, said he had seen his client that morning in court and was completely unaware of the afternoon’s drama.

“We called his case in the morning and everything was fine,” he said. “The fact that the officers revived him — kudos. When I spoke to him yesterday [Wednesday], he was his usual combative self.”

The correction officers involved in the Perry save were Kevin Alexander, Antoine Chaney, Niurca De La Rosa and Kenyonda Grinkley.

“Too often the public only hears about the inmate drug overdoses or suicide attempts that are successful, but not the ones we prevent every day,” said Benny Boscio, president of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association.

“(The officers) immediately jumped into action as soon as they realized this inmate was in physical distress and required immediate medical attention. Their quick thinking and courageous actions undoubtedly helped save the inmate’s life.”

Alexander began chest compressions while De La Rosa retrieved a rescue kit and Grinkley called for EMS. Chaney used CPR.

It was not clear whether Perry smoked or ingested the drug.

Perry was taken to New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital in stable condition. There, he refused further treatment and was returned to the Anna M. Kross Center jail on Rikers Island.

Perry was arrested in October 2021 in Manhattan on robbery and burglary charges, records show. Thanks to the officers, he can await another court appearance in November.

©2022 New York Daily News
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Recommended for you

Copyright © 2023 Corrections1. All rights reserved.